Parents & Teachers

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For Parents 

Get a Library Card!  

  • Children who are able to write their first and last names may get a library card of their own. Kids ages 12 and under must have a parent or guardian’s signature on the application. Kids 13-years-old or over may apply for their own card, but must either show identification or have a parent or guardian’s signature on the application.  Click to download a library card application(PDF, 337KB) .
  • Library materials that are on hold for a patron may only be checked out by the cardholder who placed the hold. So, if you’re picking up your child’s book, be sure to bring their card with you.You must have a card with you when checking out material.
  • Library staff cannot tell you what your child has checked out on their card. We will be happy to show you and your child how to review your own records online.
  • The Alameda Free Library offers a broad selection of books, magazines, video, and audio materials. With their new card, your child may use any materials from any section of the library. The library cannot limit the types of materials your child checks out, even if you ask us to. It’s the same with computers. The library has minimal filtering on the computers in the Children’s Department only. The library does not actively supervise children on the computer.

 Ask Us!

  • We offer book suggestions, reference help, special programs, presentations, and storytimes at all three of our locations.
  • Stay up to date with what’s happening at the Alameda Free Library with our activities calendar.  
  • We want to hear from you, too.  Recommend a book you think the library should own. We can't promise we'll purchase every book recommended, but we can promise to take a look.

Visit Us!

All three Alameda Free Library locations have storytimes, crafts, LEGOs®, homework coaching, and other regular programs designed with kids in mind. Our goal is to encourage a love of reading and learning. Please help your child have a safe and enjoyable visit by keeping the following points in mind:

  • Children 10 years old and younger must be fully supervised by a responsible adult. Our libraries are open to everyone and may not always be safe for a child who has been left alone. Library staff cannot supervise children, nor can they act in loco parentis. If we are unable to contact you, incidents may have to be referred to the Alameda Police Department.
  • Please make sure your child has your name, phone number, and the number of another trusted adult who can provide a ride home if necessary. Staff cannot wait with your child after the library closes.

Visit us Online!

  • You can access our online catalog, place holds and pay fines, update your account, and create personal book lists from home.
  • We have databases available that are meant for kids! These online services are only available through our website and are accessed by entering your library card number.
  • We have a selection of links to websites that are both fun and educational. Organized by age/interest level, you’re sure to find something that your kids will enjoy.

For Teachers

Please note: School Resource Services are available to teachers employed by Alameda elementary and middle schools only. Preschool teachers and teachers at schools located outside the City of Alameda are invited to call the Children’s Department or the library located in your school’s neighborhood for more information on how libraries can help you and your students.

Classroom Visits and Library Tours

  • Virtual Classroom Visits: TK-8th grade classroom teachers at elementary and middle schools in the city of Alameda, CA, may schedule grade-level specific classroom visits. A librarian or specialist will attend your classroom Zoom meeting to read and promote library services. Please click here to schedule a virtual visit:
    or contact Andie Cultrera, School Resource Services Librarian(
  • Book Talks and Storytime: The library will present age appropriate fiction and non-fiction by giving a book talk, reading a story, and/or providing a simple literature-extension activity connected to a particular theme per teacher request. This visit may be augmented with a “Library to Go” box.
  • Introduction to Electronic Resources: To provide students homework support, the Library will conduct a customized digital presentation of the library’s website demonstrating all of the many electronic resources, free services, and materials the library offers students. This presentation may be focused on a specific topic or augmented with a “Library to Go” box.
  • Library Tour: Arrange a tour of any of the three branches of the Alameda Free Library. Your library visit will include a storytime, brief tour of the Children's Department and, per teacher request, time for students to check out books. If you want your students to receive a library Card during your visit, teachers must distribute library card applications(PDF, 337KB) in advance and return the completed applications to the library at least one week in advance of the visit. No library cards will be created during the visit.

Library-To-Go Boxes

Is your class working on a project or doing research on a specific subject?  Let us prepare a Library-To-Go box of materials for you!

  • Library-To-Go boxes contain supplemental, curriculum-related books, DVDs, and/or a set of literature-circle books to augment a specific classroom unit or provide more independent reading choices for your students. Your classroom may keep these books for up to 4 weeks. Teachers interested in obtaining a Library-to-Go box, must complete a special Teacher Library Card application.
  • Library-to-Go boxes may be customized to relate to a specific topic (e.g., Civil War, endangered animals, or planets). Teachers may ask for specific books or simply indicate a topic and have the library find appropriate books (or a combination of both). While we can’t guarantee we’ll have every requested book available for inclusion, we’ll do the best we can to find enough similar materials to satisfy the request.
  • To request a Library-To-Go box, email your request to the School Resource Liaison at at least two weeks in advance. Please be as specific as possible and include alternate topic ideas in case we don’t have enough books on a single subject to fill a box. We'll let you know when your box is ready for pick up at the front desk of the Main Library.

Library-To-Go FAQs:

  • The Library-To-Go service is available to educators in Alameda schools serving any combination of K-8th grades.
  • Library-To-Go boxes are meant to boost or augment an existing classroom library during the study of larger units or projects.
  • The Library-To-Go boxes may contain up to 30 library items and can be checked out for one 4-week period.  Boxes may not be renewed.
  • Library-To-Go boxes may only be checked out using a Teacher Card.
  • Teacher Cards are to be used for the Library-To-Go service only.  Educators must use their personal library cards for any materials checked out for personal use.
  • Teacher Cards are kept on file at the Children's Department at the Alameda Free Library Main Branch.  Please call or email the School Resources Services liaison to make an appointment to pick up your box.

For questions or additional info contact:
School Resource Liaison Andie Cultrera

Helpful Links for Educators

Databases and websites designed for use by educators.